An Arkansas man was arrested over the weekend for the murder of his wife who was found shot dead in her car in the spring of 2021.
Jason Ross Dunigan39, is charged with capital murder during the May 28, 2021, death 36 years old Amber Duniganwhose body was found in his car parked along Arkansas Route 16 late that night.
At the time, local media reported that the accused was part of the grieving family who “wanted[ed] answers” about the death of Amber Dunigan.
Now, according to court documents quoted by local NBC/Fox affiliate KNWA/KFTAJason Dunigan was in a position to know that all along.
A criminal information filed in the Fourth Judicial District Court on February 17, 2022 alleges that “the defendant shot his wife in the head” and that he committed the alleged crime “with the premeditated and deliberate purpose of causing the death of ‘someone else “. .”
The accused used a shotgun in an attempt to cash in on his wife’s $300,000 life insurance policy, authorities now say.
A warrant was issued the next day for what the Natural State calls Capital Murder, a Class Y felony, and the alleged husband was arrested the next day in Farmington, Ark.
The victim’s body was originally believed to have been discovered by his stepfather, James Dunigan, around 10 p.m., after she did not return on time. The route he traveled to find the horrific scene was well known to him and other family members, he said, as Amber Dunigan frequently took this route between two hair salons she managed. .
“She should have been home around 8:30 a.m., but since she didn’t show up, we went to pick her up,” he told the TV station. “We called 911, and the Washington County Sheriff’s Office responded, and then the Arkansas State Police arrived.”
“It could be a tragic accident, or it could be intentional homicide,” the stepfather said. added in June this year, just after the family laid flowers in his honor. “We’re just in standby mode right now.”
Investigators now say, however, that Jason Dunigan was the first person to call 911 and only belatedly referred to the woman who died in the car as his wife after the police trooper. State of Arkansas. Jeff Richardson arrived on the scene.
According to police, the husband said “he had met the victim at this location earlier in the evening” due to mechanical problems with his own car, but he left and returned home, later becoming “worried “when she didn’t follow him. That’s when Jason Dunigan called his parents and the trio drove off to find the woman dead inside his car, law enforcement now claim.
Near Amber Dunigan’s head, and ultimately key to the investigation, was a small piece of green fabric that police said “appeared to be very similar to the fabric used on the suspect’s work shirts”. Authorities now believe Jason Dunigan used one of his shirts “to drown out the sound of a gunshot.”
A witness later told police the publicly grieving husband privately complained that Supercuts would not release his slain wife’s life insurance policy and also said he was ‘the number one suspect’ while projecting confidence that an investigation would show that she had been killed by a hunter.
When initially questioned by police, the defendant reportedly said he was looking at the property during the time when his wife was likely to have been shot and killed. He could not remember where or what property he had seen, police said, and a subsequent search of his car’s native GPS system placed his car near – and then right next to – his wife’s car during that period when he would have looked at plots of land.
In another interview, police say, they questioned their suspect’s roommate, who said she had a long-standing sexual relationship with him, which Amber Dunigan eventually found out. On the night of the murder, the roommate reportedly said, Jason Dunigan came home, asked her to plug in her phone, and “then immediately went to wash her hands.”
The Tyler, Texas native was fondly remembered in his obituary:
She graduated in 2002 from Carlisle High School (Arkansas). She was an active member of the student body participating in several groups and was listed on the Who’s Who among American high school students. She was active in the student council and the band. She was part of the flag team and started the flag line for the first time in school history.
Amber graduated from the Career Academy of Hair Design in 2019. She loved her work and her dedication and honesty showed when she was promoted to managing two Super-Cut locations. She was a very popular stylist, much appreciated by her colleagues and clients. She also enjoyed crafting, reading, decorating cakes and cooking new recipes.
Her former colleagues also remembered the murdered mother as a joy to be around and the epitome of positivity.
“Amber was one of the kindest souls you could ever meet” Joy Huffaker said KNWA. “She never said anything bad to anyone. She was a very positive person, always had a smile on her face. She was a great mom. Her son was the love of her life. She was a A very hardworking, loyal, honest and motivated employee, she was ready to help each salon when they needed it and strived to make her salons and staff the best.
“It hit everyone pretty hard,” Tara Wheeler added, “We kind of have to keep our minds busy at the moment. Just to carry on and keep the good mood, because that’s what she would like us to be, it’s good mood and not crying all the time for her.
End of last yearArkansas State Police turned over Amber Dunigan’s records to the Washington County District Attorney.
Jason Dunigan was jailed in Washington County Jail and later released on $250,000 bond over the weekend. The accused’s next hearing is currently scheduled for February 23, 2022.
[image via Washington County Jail]
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